One of my personal friendships blew up into a non-platonic mess after the failure to "check in" on the relationship midway through my new journey into a romance with someone else. Not enough words were exchanged by either party and the platonic friendship devolved into a mess of jealousy and anger after it was eventually revealed (through some pretty harsh texts) that the friend thought I had blown her off for the new girlfriend.
This could have been avoided, I found out, through a simple conversation. It can be as easy as going "Hey, what are we?" to your friend. This simple act allows men and women to focus on the important things in a friendship… which is the friendship itself. Why invest all your time hanging out with another person if all you're going to do is worry about what you are?
Failing to properly communicate with one another isn't a problem that affects just one sex -- as is demonstrated by the eternal debate of what to have for dinner tonight. Let's hit up the elephant in the room right now: it's hard to maintain the friendship with a platonic friend when you're in a serious relationship with someone else. It takes a lot of finessing and that act of finessing can destroy one or both relationships if done incorrectly.
It's like having a double agent
One of the coolest parts of guys having female friends is the wisdom they glean from having what Dr. Walsh calls "an insider view of the other gender."
OK, not every male friend is going to be able to tell you why so many dudes love Buffalo chicken and the movie Gladiator, and not every female friend is going to take the time to explain what bobby pins are and how exactly they work.
When you're dating someone, you get an abbreviated view of how his or her mind works. My female friends always help me figure out how I've accidentally offended my girlfriend when I'm feeling particularly clueless. Did you know that women don't like it when you fall asleep in front of the TV during date night?
All the real dude and girl stuff happens in private -- like when you're in the shower or they're out with their friends. Realistically, there's a ton of stuff guys and girls do that makes no sense to the opposite sex. Why do guys think that making fun of other guys will impress girls? Why do women always steal our sweatshirts and then pretend like we never bought the sweatshirt in the first place? Having a platonic friend of the opposite sex gives you an abridged view of the mysteries and idiosyncrasies of that gender and might even let you know if you're doing something that's potentially annoying the hell out of your partner.
Guys, did you know that she does not like it when you collect all the hair she left in the drain and put it on her side of the bed?
Integrating friends into your relationship is good for the couple
A frustrating part of getting into a new relationship is finding out how to balance your significant other and your squad of friends.
"How… do you keep everyone's self-esteem intact?" Dr. Walsh asks. "You don't want to raise feelings of jealousy in your partner or make the other person feel like they're poaching you. How can you be open and include your friends in your couple life? You don't want to stick anyone into a little pocket of your life."
Hint: communication, communication, communication.